Pumi Q & A
“THE GOOD AND BAD NEWS ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL BREED IS THAT THEY ‘SELL THEMSELVES’. They are the right size, cute, and do not shed. Those are attractive features but they also attract people who are looking for something the Pumi is not.”
they were a darling and unusual breed. Outside of dogs we enjoy hiking, travel and spending time with family. My husband David and I are attorneys and have recently become “empty nesters.” What’s the most important thing a prospective owner should know about the breed? The most important thing a prospective owner should know about this wonderful breed is that they are an active and busy breed. They are not couch potatoes and need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation. I believe the three most important things a prospective Pumi owner can do is (1) Meet a Pumi, preferably several, before you buy (2) Spend actual time with one before buying and as with all breeds (3) Make sure you are dealing with a reputable breeder. The biggest misconception about the breed? Their “whimsi- cal” expression belies their hard-wired toughness and work ethic. They may look like a Build-a-Bear but they are a tough, smart, stubborn, high energy working animal. At what age do I choose a show prospect? Evaluating a Pumi litter is no different than evaluating any other breed. One needs a keen understanding of the breed standard and look for those features in the pups. Different breeds/breeders have different ages which are optimal for evaluating but I’ve had good luck with eval- uating at around 8 weeks. However the majority of my evaluation is done observing a litter at play. It is far more important to me to see how a puppy moves and uses its body in a natural setting than trying to get a table stack analysis. How do I place my pups? The good and bad news about this wonderful breed is that they “sell themselves”. They are the right size, cute, and do not shed. Those are attractive features but they also attract people who are looking for something the Pumi is not. A Pumi breeder needs to be very diligent in their placement. I’ve placed most of my pups in show homes and agility/performance homes. I have two who are in companion homes but those owners understand the unique needs of the Pumi. My favorite dog show memory? Owner handling my Pumi “Boglarka” to a Group 4 at The Beverly Hills Kennel Club under the late Steve Gladstone was a really special moment. Attending Pumifest is always a treat. A non-show favorite memory was rep- resenting the Pumi breed with David Frei on the ‘Today Show’ in New York. We ask that the future breeders, exhibitors and professional handlers respect the rustic heritage and presentation of this breed. They should NEVER be blown dry and overly sculpted.
there new life as a show or companion dog. Happy with whatever adventures they take on with their forever family! How do I place my pups? I talk to the potential owner(s). I ask many questions about their lifestyle, their home and yard, what are they looking for in a dog, what activities do the want to do with the dog? I do a home visit If I’m close enough or they can come to me. They can meet my adults and young ones. If they are close I arrange puppy visits and I watch their reactions. We talk and I listen and answer questions, I talk about the Pumi’s needs. I stress how they need to be part of the family and the fact that they will be their 24/7 shadow. They will bark to alert. They will bark at play or excitement to tell you what they are thinking and happy about. But then they will be quite happy to snuggle watch tv with you and sleep next to your head. As good homes are determined it then becomes my job to match the right puppy with each home. I make sure the temperament and activity level of each pup matches that of their new family and I always match puppy to family, they do not get to choose. The rea- soning for that is: I know these pups inside and out. I have watched and evaluated from the moment they were born. I know their per- sonalities and in order to ensure they have a happy full life and each family is happy It is my responsibility to place the right pup in each home. My favorite dog show memory? Every time I watch the judges smile because of course that whimsical expression and those ears—you simply can’t help but smile. They brighten up any room! Pumi’s are the most happy, loving, loyal, intelligent, hard working, whimsical dog with the expression that talks to you and ears that are well—just the cutest! To live with a Pumi is much like a potato chip, if you have one you will end up having more. I literally laugh every day! They are silly, smart, serious, loving, loyal, boisterous, snuggly, demanding, sweet dogs all wrapped up in a whimsical package. To be owned by a Pumi or two is a wonderful ride of a lifetime! MARIA ARECHAEDERRA We live in Silverado, Cal-
ifornia. My original breed is another Hungarian breed, the Kuvasz and that is how I was first introduced to the Pumi breed. I met my first Pumi around 1992 through my Hungarian friend and fellow Kuvasz breeder Paul Yuhasz who’s wife brought a pair back from one of their trips to Hungary. I thought
278 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , O CTOBER 2019
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